Confession: I’ve always battled with self-esteem issues.
So imagine the conviction I felt as I read 1 Samuel 15:17 one cold New Jersey late-October day. I was in a seminary class digging through the verses of 1 + 2 Samuel when this passage slapped me and left me bleeding.
The low view I had of myself had become comfortable. It had halted my life in many areas. How did that reflect my relationship with God?
In 1 Samuel 15 we jump in at the beginning of the transition from King Saul to King David. It’s the chapter before the prophet Samuel is sent to anoint young David as the future king of Israel. It’s the chapter where Saul is dealt the blow that God was through with him. There are so many really good nuggets in this chapter; I may revisit it for future posts. I want, however, to draw your attention to what transpired in verse 17.
And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD has anointed you king of Israel.1 Samuel 15:17 NLT
This verse comes after the second time that Saul disobeyed direct instructions given to him. In each of the two instances he defied what God, through the prophet Samuel, told him to do. In each instance he chose rather to act upon the demands and complaints of “the people”, the children of Israel. He caved to people’s expectations, rather than being true to who God called him to be.
Don’t Stay There
This is not the time to argue the validity of how we see ourselves. We all have a story, some of our stories cannot be limited to volumes of work, yet we can ill-afford to remain prisoner to all the reasons we look down on ourselves. Although the education may not be there, we can thrive. Although Moses stammered, he was a mouthpiece. Although Elizabeth was old and barren, she bore witness to the coming Messiah. Although I may be *insert shortcoming here*, I am called of God.
Here’s a beautiful reminder: it is in our weaknesses that God’s grace, mercy, and power is seen more. So let go of your “although,” obey God and live out your call.
Site Your Source
What is the true source of your identity? It was the Lord who anointed Saul as king, not Samuel. It was the Lord who gave instructions to Saul, conducive to him being the king. Were Saul rooted confidently in who God appointed him to be his backbone would have probably withstood the complaints of the children of Israel. Don’t get stuck in what you, or others, say about you; site the source of your life – the Creator, site Him and lean into that.
Forget You, Do Purpose
So you’re unstuck from what you’ve told yourself you are and you’ve transitioned your “although” by choosing to site how God sees and calls you; now what? Freely live out purpose. When you let go of the beliefs that seek to paralyze you then you are open to going hard in the direction of purpose. Trust me, this is a journey I’m walking out as I type and it’s proving fruitful. Although you are, He is, and He is greater than whatever beliefs that seek to attack the identity God has freed you into.
Be free. Own it.